Few sure winners seen at the Emmy Awards

Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:22pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If there are any sure bets at this year's Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, they are "Modern Family" again being crowned TV's best comedy series and Kate Winslet winning for her role in "Mildred Pierce".

Most everything else is up for grabs at the TV industry's highest honors in what awards watchers call one of the closest Emmys in years.

"There are a lot of predictions, but no sure bets and that's why the Emmys is packing some excitement this year," said Todd Gold, managing editor of Xfinity TV. "It is full of outstanding shows from networks to cable, and premium cable."

Even critical darling "Mad Men" cannot rest on its laurels as a three-time best drama winner, despite its 19 nominations.

But the stylish 1960s advertising drama faces a threat from HBO's new prohibition era series "Boardwalk Empire", which not only won Golden Globe and Screen Actor's Guild prizes earlier this year but walked off with seven trophies last weekend at the creative arts portion of Emmy Awards.

"It looked as if 'Mad Men' was going into this year's Emmys as the inevitable winner. But all of a sudden, we have a real race here," said Tom O'Neil of awards websites TheEnvelope.com and Goldderby.com.

And don't count out HBO's fantasy series "Game of Thrones", based on the best-selling novels by George R.R. Martin.

"Game of Thrones" may skew too young for the older, more traditional members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, who make up the bulk of Emmy voters. But Gold called it "by far the most exciting series of the past season. It was big and bold. It broke barriers and extended the boundaries of what a dramatic TV series can be. It was like a big movie every week."   Continued...

<p>Ed O'Neill (L) accepts the award for outstanding ensemble for a comedy series for "Modern Family" with fellow cast members at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 30, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>